Sunday, June 22, 2008

You've Changed

I promise that this will be my last post bemoaning the passage of the FISA Amendments by the House on Friday (at least until next week when the Senate acts to make this bill a law), but the issue is so important that I can't just let it go.

Here's Keith Olbermann's take on the issue, joined by John Dean of Nixon fame. Who better than Dean should know the "if I say it's the law, it is" theory of governance.

And Barack Obama has officially joined the ranks of those politicians without a soul. For me, the moment for McCain was when he voted against the ban on torture, for Hillary Clinton it was when she used race as a wedge issue in the campaign. And this weasel move by Obama is yet another of those moments.

Now that the primary election is over, he can afford to betray the progressive and liberals, since they have no where else to go. As Paul Kane of the Washington Post puts it, Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) today announced his support for a sweeping intelligence surveillance law that has been heavily denounced by the liberal activists who have fueled the financial engines of his presidential campaign.

In his most substantive break with the Democratic Party's base since becoming the presumptive nominee, Obama declared he will support the bill when it comes to a Senate vote, likely next week, despite misgivings about legal provisions for telecommunications corporations that cooperated with the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program of suspected terrorists.

In so doing, Obama sought to walk the fine political line between GOP accusations that he is weak on foreign policy -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called passing the legislation a "vital national security matter" -- and alienating his base.

In his discussion on Countdown, John Dean defends Obama, saying that Obama pledged an investigation into criminal conduct of spying on citizens and that this bill does not immunize criminal conduct, only private litigation for violation of the law. He suggests that perhaps Obama plans to reserve that right to go after the Administration and telecoms even with the passage of this law.

Would that it were true, but I'm certainly not counting on it. Obama is much too much of a moderate to take on such a battle.

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